Refuting Jatiya Party chairman HM Ershad’s comment that he was one of the actors behind the one-eleven fiasco, the water resources minister and party’s presidium member Anisul Islam Mahmud said that Ershad would have been arrested if Mahmud did not take the helm as the party’s chairman then.
Speaking to reporters at a press briefing on Tuesday, he added that he did not take up the acting chairman position by force, but it was rather at Ershad’s behest.
‘It was because of this that he evaded arrest and was not subject to “Minus Three” theory,’ said the minister said.
He refused involvement of any kind in the one-eleven takeover, saying he never met the individuals involved in it.
He urged a commission to put the one-eleven architects on trial, as well as those responsible for the 5 January 2014 elections, so that there is transparency for public observation.
He went on to say that the media had misconstrued what Ershad had spoken about him, saying that the party’s chairman deemed him to be his favourite person and it was printed in a leading daily.
Mahmud added that if he had forcefully usurped any position, then Ershad would not have appointed him as the legal guardian of his son, Eric.
When asked about the internal conflict going on in their party, he said that it is not acceptable that everyone would obey one person’s statements.
Rather, he added that the party is practicing democracy by protesting at anything undemocratic they find.
The minister opined that he wants to stay in the party democratically and internal conflict should not destroy the party from within.
After he was asked about rumours of him floating a new Jatiya Party faction, he quashed the rumours, saying that he would only leave the party if it is a majority decision and for the good of the party.
On being asked about a lot of members withdrawing their party nominations during the election in the last moment, he replied that for the greater good of the country and the people they did not withdraw.
Anisul, after being asked about being in the opposition party, replied that unlike BNP, his party actually discussed more actively in the parliament regarding bills, showing that the government and opposition party can work together for the benefit of the country.
He refused rumours of withdrawing from his ministerial post, but refused to comment on party leader Ershad’s role in all of it.
When he was asked about GM Quader’s role in the party, Mahmud said that he had lobbied for a ministerial post, unlike him, through a letter by Ershad. – Agencies